It’s June. The sixth month. The halfway point. How’s the year going? Good? Okay? Off the rails? It’s the perfect time to check in with yourself about food and body issues — what’s working for you, what isn’t, what deserves more time, and what doesn’t deserve another second.
Has a well-intentioned effort to “eat healthy” this year somehow descended into crash diets and disastrous binges? Maybe it’s time to stop blaming your self-control and start considering a new theory: Diets cause binge eating, and they cannot cure it. Secondary theory: Too many “healthy eating” strategies are really just the same old diets hidden behind a veneer of “wellness.”
Does the very thought of wearing a swimsuit send you into a self-loathing, self-flagellating, self-destructive panic because you haven’t met your goals? It may be time to work on accepting the body you live in, not the one you long for. Maybe you’ve dedicated enough of your life to chasing this elusive notion of a “perfect” body, and the one you have is already worthy. Maybe you work towards seeing your body as beautiful — that’s body positivity. Or maybe you work towards accepting that your body is what it is, and for better and for worse it does not define your existence — that’s body neutrality. Body acceptance of any kind makes every day more livable, and makes you less susceptible to the diet world looking to manipulate your thoughts and torture your body into something it was never meant to be.
Do you get the spring cleaning itch? That sudden impulse to dig into your closets and ditch the stuff that is not longer useful? Perfect. Embrace that, and apply it inward. Dig into your psyche, and ditch the diet mentality. It isn’t useful. It isn’t serving you. It’s only driving you deeper into diet culture, an industry that identifies insecurities in order to profit from them.
There’s a reason I’m asking all these questions.
In six months, this could all be a distant memory. The calculating, the counting, the curse of insatiable hunger. You could concentrate on work and school, without obsessive food thoughts clouding your mind. You could enjoy a kid’s birthday party without panicking about the cake. You could cruise through the holidays celebrating a newfound freedom around food.
And when New Year’s resolution season rolls around, the time of year that diet marketers spend MONTHS charting out how best to profit off of you, you won’t be vulnerable to their messages about finally feeling in control of your eating. Because you’ll wake up one day and you will realize that you already are.
Diets hold you hostage. Binge eating perpetuates the diet cycle. A six-month reset sets you free.
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I’m starting month 4 of my six month reset. It seems to be going well, however, I’m not quite sure what happens when my 6 mo. is up. I’ve read and reread every single one of your articles and your book. Everything you write is fantastic btw. I’m just not finding anything about what I’m supposed to do after. I can kinda see some things, like applying the things I’ve discovered about myself during the reset, but I’d sure appreciate any input you could give me.
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First off: four months!!! That is SO awesome, and it sounds like you’re doing great. And secondly, such a great question. I talk a bit about the next phase here , but it’s been a while and definitely time to revisit the subject! You’re absolutely right about letting those self-discoveries lead the way, and I will also share some strategies I’ve that have helped me maintain a positive relationship with food and exercise and avoid the many traps of diet culture. Stay tuned!
Thanks so much for your great questions and insights! Love having you as a reader!!
On January 26th 2018, I had my first meeting with my first counselor. On that day I dedicated myself to healing and recovery. I now have 2 counselors that I meet with weekly. But had 2 binges in the last 2 months (I use to binge 2-3 times a week). I was “dedicated” to recovery while still practicing unhealthy diet practices like not eating until noon and counting calories.
I am on day 2 of this six month journey. I have not felt this free in so long.
I am so thankful for having found you.
Goodbye diet culture. Goodbye binge eating disorder.
Thank you for igniting a fire in me. I will burn all that harms me and causes me pain while giving my heart warmth and keeping my body nice and toasty (while eating toast, of course)
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I want to give you a standing ovation!!! This is amazing and so incredibly inspiring. It’s not easy to identify unhealthy diet practices like counting calories and fasting until noon, because let’s face it — there are so many voices in our society that say “ooooh, good for you, you’re so good.” Disgusting. But you are so on point. GET MAD AT DIET CULTURE.
I’m truly so sorry I’m six months late to this…I had a baby and just fell off the face of the earth in survival mode. But I would absolutely love to hear how you’re doing! If you happen to see this, give us an update! Sending all the best to you, and I’m so grateful you’ve taken the time to read and comment here. Here’s a toast to you — a biiiig piece of toast, with lots of real butter on top ❤